The Self Determination for Gibraltar Group again called on the UN to send a visiting mission to Gibraltar, insisting that its failure to do so “emboldened” Spain in its “stagnant and undemocratic” claims over Gibraltar.
Richard Buttigieg, the group’s chairman, marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and told the UN’s Fourth Committee that Gibraltarians had freely expressed their wish to remain British on two occasions.
“You must send a UN visiting mission to Gibraltar so that you can see for yourselves the reality of our land and our people, so that you can experience yourselves how Spain behaves towards us in that area of the world,” ” he urged the committee.
“By failing on these key points, you embolden Spain to continue with its antagonistic attitude towards Gibraltar and, with that approach, the issue will never ever be resolved.”
“The people of Gibraltar will not yield to coercion or pressure and we will never be made to surrender.”
“We will never give up our undeniable right to self determination.”
“And we will pay whatever price is necessary to uphold our democratic freedoms.”
Mr Buttigieg recalled Franco’s attempt to economically strangle Gibraltar by closing the frontier, insisting this has instead strengthened a greater sense of unity amongst Gibraltarians.
This “malicious act” had been borne with bravery, he said, and had helped forge Gibraltarian identity.
He urged to diplomats to consider what most Gibraltarians thought and felt when they heard Spain’s position on Gibraltar.
“How can we trust a nation which isolated us from the world and strangled us politically and economically for over a decade just because we had the audacity to express our feelings in a democratic referendum?” he asked.
“How can we trust a nation that as of late makes seemingly reasonable statements before this committee but then has no compunction whatsoever to act completely the opposite in Gibraltar on a daily basis?”
“How can we trust a nation that, even in this day an age, sends out anti riot vehicles and paramilitary forces against its own people merely because they have the temerity of wanting to exercise their right to choose?”
“They simply cannot be trusted.”